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Aim Climate change is expected to result in the tropicalization of coastal wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico, as warming winters allow tropical mangrove forests to expand their distribution poleward at the expense of temperate salt marshes. Data limitations near mangrove range limits have hindered understanding of the effects of winter temperature extremes on mangrove distribution and structure. Here, we investigated the influence of extreme freeze events on the abundance, height and coverage of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans ) near their northern range limit in Louisiana. Location Coastal Louisiana, USA. Methods We quantified the relationships between the frequency of extreme freeze events and A. germinans...
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This data set contains links that are important to each species' habitat network. Those important links are scored based on the percent currently under protection status, projected change in climate suitability by the middle of the 21st century, and projected change in percent urbanized by the middle of the 21st century. Important links were identified from all links in the networks of each species based on their Integral Index of Connectivity (dIIC). Any links with dIIC scores > 0.9 or which connected to nodes with dIIC > 0.9 were retained here as "important" links.
Abstract (from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173844): Urban habitats are characterized by impervious surfaces, which increase temperatures and reduce water availability to plants. The effects of these conditions on herbivorous insects are not well understood, but may provide insight into future conditions. Three primary hypotheses have been proposed to explain why multiple herbivorous arthropods are more abundant and damaging in cities, and support has been found for each. First, less complex vegetation may reduce biological control of pests. Second, plant stress can increase plant quality for pests. And third, urban warming can directly increase pest fitness and abundance. These...
Abstract (from Ecology and Society): Coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development, and climate change and other stressors are now further degrading the capacity of those ecological and social systems to remain resilient in the face of such disturbances. We sought to identify potential ways in which local conservation interests in the Lowcountry of South Carolina (USA) could participate in a social process of adaptation planning, and how that process might ultimately be broadened to engage a more diverse set of partners. We engaged participants through a combination of informal meetings, workshops, and other collaborative interactions to explore how the conservation community...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Efforts to conserve stream and river biota could benefit from tools that allow managers to evaluate landscape-scale changes in species distributions in response to water management decisions. We present a framework and methods for integrating hydrology, geographic context and metapopulation processes to simulate effects of changes in streamflow on fish occupancy dynamics across a landscape of interconnected stream segments. We illustrate this approach using a 482 km2 catchment in the southeastern US supporting 50 or more stream fish species. A spatially distributed, deterministic and physically based hydrologic model is used to simulate daily streamflow for sub-basins composing the catchment. We use geographic data...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1752-1688.12304/abstract): The hydrologic response to statistically downscaled general circulation model simulations of daily surface climate and land cover through 2099 was assessed for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin located in the southeastern United States. Projections of climate, urbanization, vegetation, and surface-depression storage capacity were used as inputs to the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System to simulate projected impacts on hydrologic response. Surface runoff substantially increased when land cover change was applied. However, once the surface depression storage was added to mitigate the land cover change and increases...
Population changes and shifts in geographic range boundaries induced by climate change have been documented for many insect species. On the basis of such studies, ecological forecasting models predict that, in the absence of dispersal and resource barriers, many species will exhibit large shifts in abundance and geographic range in response to warming. However, species are composed of individual populations, which may be subject to different selection pressures and therefore may be differentially responsive to environmental change. Asystematic responses across populations and species to warming will alter ecological communities differently across space. Common garden experiments can provide a more mechanistic understanding...
Abstract (from http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/11-2296.1): Physiological tolerance of environmental conditions can influence species-level responses to climate change. Here, we used species-specific thermal tolerances to predict the community responses of ant species to experimental forest-floor warming at the northern and southern boundaries of temperate hardwood forests in eastern North America. We then compared the predictive ability of thermal tolerance vs. correlative species distribution models (SDMs) which are popular forecasting tools for modeling the effects of climate change. Thermal tolerances predicted the responses of 19 ant species to experimental climate warming at the southern site,...
We developed a spatially explicit model that simulated future southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis, SPB) dynamics and pine forest management for a real landscape over 60 years to inform regional forest management. The SPB has a considerable effect on forest dynamics in the Southeastern United States, especially in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands that are managed for timber production. Regional outbreaks of SPB occur in bursts resulting in elimination of entire stands and major economic loss. These outbreaks are often interspersed with decades of inactivity, making long-term modeling of SPB dynamics challenging. Forest management techniques, including thinning, have proven effective and are often recommended...
Abstract (from Frontiers in Communication): The efficacy of science communication can be influenced by the cultural values and cognitions of target audiences, yet message framing rarely accounts for these cognitive factors. To explore the effects of message framing tailored to specific audiences, we investigated relationships between one form of cultural cognition—political ideology—and perceptions about the zoonotic origins of the COVID-19 pandemic using a nationally representative Qualtrics XM panel (n = 1,554) during August 2020. First, we examined differences in attitudes towards science (in general) and COVID-19 (specifically) based on political ideology. We found that, compared to conservatives and moderates,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers): Agricultural best management practices (BMPs) reduce nonpoint-source pollution from cropland. Goals for BMP adoption and expected pollutant load reductions are often specified in water quality management plans to protect and restore waterbodies; however, estimates of the needed load reductions and pollutant removal performance of BMPs are generally based on historic climate. Increasing air temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns and intensity are anticipated throughout the U.S. over the 21st century. The effects of such changes on agricultural pollutant loads have been addressed by several studies, but how these changes will affect...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Despite its successes, the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) has proven challenging to implement due to funding limitations, workload backlog, and other problems. As threats to species survival intensify and as more species come under threat, the need for the ESA and similar conservation laws and policies in other countries to function efficiently has grown. Attempts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to streamline ESA decisions include multispecies recovery plans and habitat conservation plans. We address species status assessment (SSA), a USFWS process to inform ESA decisions from listing to recovery, within the context of multispecies and ecosystem planning. Although existing SSAs have a single-species...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Landscape and Urban Planning): Cultural resources in coastal parks and recreation areas are vulnerable to climate change. The US National Park Service (NPS) is facing the challenge of insufficient budget allocations for both maintenance and climate adaptation of historic structures. Research on adaptation planning for cultural resources has predominately focused on vulnerability assessments of heritage sites; however, few studies integrate multiple factors (e.g., vulnerability, cultural significance, use potential, and costs) that managers should consider when making tradeoff decisions about which cultural resources to prioritize for adaptation. Moreover, heritage sites typically include multiple...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Tourism Management): Substantial climate change impacts threaten the persistence of cultural resources globally. The need exists for conceptualizing decision support tools that focus on quantifying and optimizing the managerial priorities to leverage historic preservation and adaptation actions that enhance the continuity of heritage values and sites. Informed by the Structured Decision Making (SDM) approach, this study advances the singular objective Optimal Preservation (OptiPres) Model, a decision support tool for climate adaptation planning of historic buildings by considering three tourism management objectives: (a) maximize accumulated resource value, (b) maximize cost-efficiency, and (c) minimize...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Springer): Climate change is altering species’ range limits and transforming ecosystems. For example, warming temperatures are leading to the range expansion of tropical, cold-sensitive species at the expense of their cold-tolerant counterparts. In some temperate and subtropical coastal wetlands, warming winters are enabling mangrove forest encroachment into salt marsh, which is a major regime shift that has significant ecological and societal ramifications. Here, we synthesized existing data and expert knowledge to assess the distribution of mangroves near rapidly changing range limits in the southeastern USA. We used expert elicitation to identify data limitations and highlight knowledge gaps for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from ScienceDirect ) Ecosystem accounts, as formalized by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounts (SEEA EEA), have been compiled in a number of countries, yet there have been few attempts to develop them for the U.S. We explore the potential for U.S. ecosystem accounting by compiling ecosystem extent, condition, and ecosystem services supply and use accounts for a 10-state region in the Southeast. The pilot accounts address air quality, water quality, biodiversity, carbon storage, recreation, and pollination for selected years from 2001 to 2015. Results illustrate how information from ecosystem accounts can contribute to policy and decision making. Using an example...
Summary (from NESP Methods Brief Series): This methods brief focuses on water purification by natural land cover, which removes nonpoint-source pollutants from runoff water before they reach waterways. This analysis maps natural land cover within the likely flowpaths of water from agricultural areas to waterways. Regional priority areas for the restoration of additional natural land cover in the flowpaths and for the conservation of existing natural land cover in the flowpaths are identified based on the amount of agricultural land and the proportion of flowpaths that are made up of purifying natural land cover. Spatial datasets for these priority areas and associated metrics are available on ScienceBase.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Summary (from NESP Methods Brief): This methods brief focuses on wild pollination, which is beneficial to the production of many pollinator-dependent crops. This analysis maps the supply of potential wild pollinator habitat and the demand for pollination from agriculture. Regional priority areas for conservation and restoration of wild pollinator habitat are identified based on several metrics derived from these supply and demand maps. Spatial datasets for these priority areas and associated metrics are available on ScienceBase.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation


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